Life is a journey

Life is a journey

fredag 22. juli 2016

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Costa Rica was our final destination on this trip, and like the other countries, we were gonna visit two places here, as well as the capital San Jose, where we had so say goodbye to eachother. But thats in a later post. This post is about Monteverde, and i only have one word to describe the place and the country, WOW!! 

The boarder crossing into Costa Rica was a bit different than the other ones we had done.
I am so glad i was with a group with a CEO that took care of everything. He warned us while we were in the bus how the people at the boarder would behave, and told us exactly what we should do.
As soon as we stepped out of the bus people started to ask if we needed to change money.
Chris has told us not to change at the Nicaraquan side, so we just kept saying no.
We walked a bit before we had to show the passport first one time, then another, before we entered a big building. Inside Chris took all our passport, while we were waiting together in another room.
He came back with a funny and not scary guy at all, who just needed to see our faces before he gave us our passport back.

The next step was to find someone who could change money.
In Costa Rica they have insane high bills, like 1000, 5000 and 10 000 Costa Rican Colon (CRC), so it is impossible to find out the exact price in my own currency.
One regular Coke could for excample cost 650 CRC, which is 1,1 dollar, 1 euro or 10 NOK.
Lets say - i never found a good way to calculate, so i used my "currency" app on the phone all the time :p
Further we had to walk aproximately 1 km with our backpack to really cross the boarder.
On the Costa Rican side we had to stand in line for about 30 minutes before we got in one by one, showed our passport, got a stamp and was ready to go! Finally!!

Luckily we got our own minibus, and the trip to Monteverde took about 4 hours.
On our way we stopped by a beautiful waterfall, where we had lunch and got to swim!
It turned out there was some small bugs in the water, so one by one came running up from the water, scratching themselves all our the body! haha!

The last part to Monteverde was just like a fairytale! We have an amazing nature in Norway, but this was just stunning! I was soo tired, but the further up we got in the "mountains" the more awake the whole bus seems to be, as the nature become more and more incredible!
It was big, green valleys as far as your eye could see, the fog was lying on the top of the hills on the right side, and the sun was on its way down on the left side.
I never really got any good photos, so i cannot share the beauty with you ,except two "okay" pictures. I would instead recommend you all to visit Costa Rica and see it yourself :)

Not mine picture, but this picture describe really good how beautiful the landscape was :) 

On our way to Costa Rica, our guide, Manfred told us that we had to bring documents that could prove our departure from the country. Most of us just laughed when he was telling us that, but after 2-3 hours driving in this beautiful country all of us understood why.
Back in time a lot of people who came to Costa Rica immediately fell in love, and stayed.
Costa Rica is a quite small country with less than 5 million people, but even though, they have more than 40 different nationalities living in the country!
Even though we only visited two places in the middle of the country i want to go back of many reasons. They have a coastline to both the pasific and carribean ocean and is the most green country in the whole world. A quarter of the country's area is protected areas, which is a larger proportion than in any other country in the world. That explains all the wildlife, rain-and cloudforest and beauty of the country.
Costa Rica was in 1949 also the first country in the world to liquidate the military, and is the country with the oldest democracy in Latin America. It was a true pleasure to come here, without any military guys with guns walking around you, like they did in both Honduras and Nicaragua!

We finally arrived Monteverde, a small town 1400m above the sea level, so the weather was quite different than in the lowlands. For the first time since i left Norway, i was actually freezing!! I guess it was 18c, which normally is not that cold, but when you have been used to 25-35c the last month it felt a lot more colder :p
Monteverde "town" is basically on a top of a "mountain". The shops, restaurants and cafe's are in the bottum of a hill, while most of the hotels are located further up. That means whatever you were going to do, it was a pleasure to walk one way, and a real hell the way back as it is just up up up!

We stayed in a nice hotel almost at the top (off course). It was nice rooms, with a bird feeder right outside, so you could literally sit 0,5 metres away from the hummingbirds while they were coming to drink! That was my first experience being so close to these amazing birds, so quite cool.

The first day we were all just really tired after a long travelling day (nearly 12 hours), so we just got out for dinner at a place called "Taco taco", and went back to bed.

The next, first real day in Monteverde was maybe the best day on my trip so far!!
I woke up early (6 am), as i was going to Santa Elena Nature reserve with Georgia, Christoph, Guillimette and Manfred at 06.30.
Everybody else were sleeping, but this was maybe my only chance to see a real cloud forest on the trip, so i decided to go!
And i am sooo glad i did it. I expected to see a bit more animals, but we were walking in the cloud forest, which is called that because the forest usually is covered by low clouds, almost by our self at 7 am, and you could see the sunrays forced through the trees while the raindrops was lying like a veil on the leaves. Pictures can not describe the beauty of the nature, but i will add someone after all.

We walked maybe 4 km, enjoyed the silence, learned a lot about the life in this forest and how everything is connected to each other by our superguide Manfred, saw some bugs, nice flowers and birds.
The one thing we always was looking for was though the slaught!!
We were a bit dissapointed by not seiing any, but right before our taxi was coming, one of the guides in the reserve came for us, and told us they have found a slaught with a baby 2 minutes from the gate :O
Through a telescope we saw the small slaught sitting at the top of the tree with her baby!! They were soooo cute :D That really made the trip worth it, and we were all so happy, expecially Guillimette, hihi!

It was really difficult to take a picture, so i stole this one online.. Not that weird we didint found one. It looks just like something that belongs to the tree :) 
Our next activity this day was the Zip Lining!!! This was something i have looked forward to since i first booked the trip, as i read the place is one of the best in the world.
I guess everybody know what Zip Lining is, so i will not explain anything about how it work.

If you ever are in Monteverde i just have to recommend you to try zip lining in one of the places!!
First we did 6 normal zip lines from 50m - 700m, and before the 7th the guide asked us whether we still wanted to continue as it would be too late to regret on the other side.
I never had a second thought, so he stucked me to the zip line and pushed me away the 1500 metres!

On the other side we had to wait for the ATV, to bring us further up as the next stop was the "super man". I only knew super man meant to fly with your head first, "lying" in the air, thats it.
While we stood there, waiting, we suddenly heared a sound far up "in the clouds". When i saw the people flying THAT high i nearly freaked out! it was SO HIGH!!!!!
Before it was my turn, i had to ask myself if this was the long one or not,  as the guide did'nt told anything, and i figured out the zip line was 2000 m (2 km) long! WOW!
I got pushed away, and at the beginning you just fly in the woods, quite close to the trees, but suddenly the trees dissapear, and you literally fly above all the trees, hundreds of meters above the ground! It is one of the most crazy activity i have ever done, and at the other side i was so ecstatic, and couldnt stop smiling :D
The next "super man" was only 800 meter, and a piece of cake!
After these amazing adventure my body was so full of adrenalin that i decided to join the girls out on the bridge for the Tarzan swing.
Tarzan swing is not like bungee jump, but you get stucked around you waist, and do a free fall from a bridge 45 meter above the ground.
Before i arrived to this place i was quite clear - i would NEVER do this, but i did!!
And i am so proud! I stepped out from the bridge screaming, but F*** what a cool thing to do!! :D
On my way back we all kept saying that this day we would get out and get drunk! haha...

I had not signed up for any more activities that day, which was really good as it rained rest of the day.
I had done the two things i wanted to do, and could just relax rest of the day.
I uploaded the movies from the Go pro camera, ate the most expensive pizza for lunch with Christoph, boughht wine for the night, listened to music and relaxed.
Later that night our CEO's had bought some cheese, so we all got together for some wine, music and local cheese.
As we had already spend the daily budget on food at the pizza, we didn't got out for dinner, but stayed in the hotel.
While half of the group went to bed, and the rest half wanted to stay in the hotel for more drinks, Georgia, Christoph and i walked to the city with the music angel and a drink for each.
It was so funny, and we could'nt get a better end at this amazing, incredible and exciting day!!!

Actually, i would call this a PERFECT day :) :)

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